Man Goes on Roadtrip to Visit Last Four MN Family Videos [WATCH]
On January 5, 2020 Highland Ventures LTD -- the parent company of Family Video -- announced that it would be closing all remaining locations of its video stores.
"The impact of COVID-19, not only in foot traffic but also in the lack of movie releases, pushed us to the end of an era," wrote Family Video owner Keith Hoogland in a statement. "I am extremely thankful to our employees and customers that were instrumental in Family Video's success. Without you, we would not have been the last man standing in our industry."
Once an empire with 800 locations around the country, an estimated 250 remaining locations -- including four in Minnesota -- will now close as soon as they've sold off their remaining inventory.
With their final day impending, one Minnesota man took it upon himself to visit all four remaining Family Video stores in Minnesota (and two in Wisconsin). Youtube channel Late Night Living Room on Sunday posted a 20-minute video of his adventure. "I visit the last four Family Videos in Minnesota in one day," reads the video's caption. He begins by planning out his trip -- starting in Hutchinson, MN before making his way to Mankato; Faribault; Rochester; Onalaska, WI and -- finally -- Eau Claire before returning to Minneapolis. According to Google Maps, the estimated total drive time was 8 hours 34 minutes.
The video includes shots of the drive from location to location and scenes of each Family Video store. Many stores -- once filled with countless rows of movies -- now look desolate and littered with nearly empty shelves. After a long day on the road, Late Night Living Room arrived at his final stop in Eau Claire only to find that the store had closed early so employees could watch that day's Packer's game. "I drove through Wisconsin for nothing," he laments in his video. He concludes with an exhortation to "support your local movie theater," many of which are also struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
What was your favorite local video store?
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